Creamy Zucchini-Wild Rice Chowder

We don’t always associate soup with summer, but in the same way fresh, sweet-scented peach pie demands to be baked in the dog days of August, we have to stir up zucchini soup at the exact moment the counter begins piling up once again with unending stacks of zucchini (tomatoes, cabbage…). Or when a very inexpensive, but large bag of zucchini somehow gets into our cart at Costco. And we get home only to wonder just what to do with all of that squash.

August 8: National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

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Sweet Potato Soup

At our house, marshmallows are saved for hot chocolate when our daughter Emily is home. I’ve never put them on sweet potatoes, though if someone else served up that inescapable casserole, I’d be polite and have a bite or two. I offer up an apology to all those gooey-sweet sweet potato fans out there and make mine the way I like them, which is thoroughly mashed up with butter, sherry, just a little brown sugar, and eggs. Top that with walnuts and bake a half hour while the bird rests and I’m in Thanksgiving heaven. The recipe is called a soufflé, but I’d say that’s stretching it. Leftovers, are, of course, perfect spooned up cold right out of the refrigerator or heated up in a skillet with a fried egg cooked in the center.

Sweet Potato Soufflé with Sherry and Walnuts/Cooks.com

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Oh-So-Easy Chicken Soup with Rice

Looking for Thanksgiving ideas? Scroll down to the bottom of the post for links to More Time planning tips, scrumptious sides, turkey talk, holiday music, movies, and more!

I have no problem with making homemade chicken broth on days when I’m flush with either money or chicken, as well as time. It’s also my go-to if someone’s got a bad cold, the flu, or an on-going dauncy tummy.

Listen to the song “Chicken Soup with Rice” (Carol King/Maurice Sendak) while you read the post.

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Black Bean Soup with Fresh Corn and Bacon Salsa

When the corn is way higher than “knee-high at the Fourth of July,”and is, in fact, “as high as an elephant’s eye” (that would be right now), it’s time to use every little bit of it without delay. The very best corn is cooked within a few hours of being picked or even sooner if you’re lucky enough to own a corn field, but if there’s an ear or two in the fridge cooked yesterday or even fresh corn that’s been refrigerated for longer than it should be (tsk, tsk), skip the corn-on-the cob side and and make my Fresh Corn and Bacon Salsa. (Of course really fresh corn is also totally acceptable!) Perfect with salty, crispy-crunchy tortilla chips, it’s even better as a black bean soup topping–or how about on chili?

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Summer Slow Cooker Shop, Chop, and Drop Soup: Ham + Lentil with Parmigiano-Reggiano

So many slow cooker recipes indicate a “dump and cook” method, but then taste like that’s exactly what you did. (I’m not eating any food from a recipe that includes the word “dump”!)  We all wish this simple cooking method worked in just such a way–especially during the hot summer months. In truth, many meals need a bit of pre-sautéing or browning before that long simmer or they are, to my palate, steamed to death and all the same color–the very reason some good cooks tell me they tried a slow cooker once and gave it away soon thereafter.

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Sausage and Beer Soup with Brussels Sprouts and White Beans

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Sausage+Beer Soup w/ Brussels Sprouts+White Beans – Scroll down for recipe

After nearly a month away from the blog and home

…first to see our daughter Emily in Pennsylvania..

       …and then to cruise via some stormy, leftover hurricane seas with my sister Helen from our favorite foreign spot, Quebec City, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida… … 

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Quick Chicken and Rice Soup (“In January It’s So Nice…”)

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In January it’s so nice
While slippin’ on the slidin’ ice
To sip hot chicken soup with rice
Sippin’ once, sippin’ twice
Sippin’ chicken soup with rice..

Book-Nutshell Lib

Lyrics (original text) by Maurice Sendak.  Music by Carole King, Really Rosie. (Click here to listen.)  First published in the book Chicken Soup with Rice, part of the Nutshell Library. Continue reading

Cream of Pea Soup with Mint, Scallions, and Sharp Cheddar or Easter Leftovers

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Note:  an Instant Pot version of this soup was posted in April of 2018.  The printable recipe on this post includes instructions for both the stove top and Instant Pot versions.

It is a joy and at times a true puzzle to figure out how to use up leftovers, but a good cook lets nothing go to waste.   Or, as Winston Churchill said,

Never let a good crisis go to waste.

And it is at times a “crisis’ in the fridge:  2 boiled eggs, two pieces of bacon, a quart of milk nearly gone bad, a bowl of boiled potatoes, and one piece of sad stale baguette are in your direct view every time you open the door.  Why isn’t there a lovely fillet of salmon, a great bottle of Chardonnay, and deeply-green spinach just out of the neighbor’s garden? Instead of a fresh fish meal, you make a quick potato soup topped with toasted breadcrumbs and then chop together a little egg salad for crackers as a side. And often you’re happier than if you’d cooked from scratch. (Aside: In Seattle, you’re fined $25 if food is found in your garbage.  You must use and eat or compost.)

below:  dogs all dressed up for Easter

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Tuesday morning’s “crisis” (OH DEAR) was a bit of cold Asparagus Vinaigrette with Chopped Eggs I had taken to friends for an Easter Eve supper.  Holiday leftover crises are somewhat worse than the traditional what’s-in-that-tupperware? problem.  Well,  I just heated a small plateful in a skillet and cooked two eggs on top for my breakfast:

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Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Yellow Pepper Salsa

DSC05479-2This black eyed pea soup appeared one noon when I just wanted something real to eat…something warm and filling, but not fattening.  Contrary to common opinions or the instructions on the package, black eyed peas do not have to soak, nor do they take two hours to cook.   Took about an hour cooking time plus prep.   Perfect for a lucky New Year’s Day when you’re too tired to cook much.  Or hungover and in need of healthy, filling food.  Want corn bread?  I include my favorite recipe at the bottom of the post. Don’t forget to dunk.

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